40. The law should possess firm foundations embedded in the minds of the people. Through Tom, I realized that I had truncated biblical peace to fit my own values, needs, and preconceptions. In Internationale Monatsschrift Professor Adolf von Harnack5 wrote recently: “We are delighted when noble patriotism is brought to light in this world of material interests, but poor indeed is the man who finds his highest ideals in patriotism alone or sees the nation as the epitome of all good. As far as the role which Christianity has played for the world peace, it would be too long to go through the whole history. We want the churches to be officially or at least semiofficially represented – and this is truly difficult to bring about. This theme appears throughout the Scripture. However, our endeavors to unite are not ignored in a steadily growing section of Roman Catholic literature. (John 14:27). But this sense of peace falls short of the biblical vision. Copyright © 2010 by Mark D. Roberts I will be their God, and they will be my people (Ezek 37:26-27). His peace would be offered to people who were not Jews, even to the hated Romans. I have always been a chronic worrywart and I easily let little things disrupt the Spirit’s gift of inner peace. Both of us would sometimes end up saying things to each other that were more than a little inappropriate. What should I do to begin living as a peacemaker?”. While our entire civilization is rocking and darkness is spreading over its future, it would be more dangerous than ever to alter its foundations, even though they are imperfect and in need of improvement. (3) It follows from the point just made that we must strip the armed forces of their previous role which has been fostered by our fear, our lust for power, and by our serving Mammon, and we must make them the safeguard of security, peace, and liberty, just as the police force is the safeguard within the state. Christ’s commandment to love one another must, therefore, be spread among all people. Obtaining world peace hinged on submission to the will of Allah, as it was the core principal teaching in Islam (Sura 5:15–16). Not as the world gives do I give to you. In my next post I want to say a little more about being a peacemaker in church. Many in our world today confront life-threatening violence in their communities. In March 1938, Germany absorbed Austria under the leadership of Adolf Hitler. For more than a century, these academic institutions have worked independently to select Nobel Laureates in each prize category. This last activity, doing justice in the world, has been the cause of considerable debate and conflict among Christians. Thus when terrible things happen in our world, when terrorists murder innocent people, when tsunamis or hurricanes wipe out whole cities, when rich CEO’s steal from their hapless shareholders, Christians should not be surprised. But no matter what, Jay loved those boys and they loved him back. 28. True peace will always include right-relationships, just treatment of all persons, wholeness in all dimensions of life, and divine blessing to boot. What does all of this mean for you personally? I my last post I showed that peace, in biblical perspective, is closely related to the idea of paradise. Invest yourself in doing that which God obviously favors, without spending all your time debating the difficult issues and doing nothing tangible. The war was to teach hatred instead of love. I wanted to make a list of ways to promote peace in everyday life, things that are tangible for any private citizen. General Act for the Pacific Settlement of International Disputes, approved by the League of Nations in 1928. It’s crucial that we pay attention to what Paul is teaching here because sometimes we get so excited about the personal relevance of the cross that we neglect its corporate implications. Now nothing is left. All world religions are already for world peace in this way, as are all humanitarians of whatever ideology; 4. I felt so much better! Eduard Beneš (1884-1948), foreign minister of Czechoslovakia (1918-1935), premier (1921-1922), president (1935-1938; 1945-1948). 30. 39. He used these words : “The world has not yet drunk its fill of blood sacrificed for human vanity, sin, envy, and tyranny. This intention was broken but not destroyed when the first human sinned against God. This word is usually translated as “righteousness,” referring not only to doing morally correct deeds, but also to living rightly in relationship with others. 41. Peace to a Christian is the presence of Christ within us that "reconciles" us to God. The Role of the Church in Promoting Peace It is my belief that “leaving ourselves in peace” with our self-conceit and evil passions does not lead to real peace. On Judgment Day we will not be questioned about the propositions of the catechism or about the dogmas and ordinances of the church; we will simply be told: “Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.”35 Christ’s preaching itself was concerned with a better interpretation of the will of God and with the emphasis of the supremacy of God. What a joyful sight at Jay’s wedding, where several of these young men were dressed up in their tuxedos, truly Jay’s brothers in Christ. God himself will be with them. This was followed by the ecumenical revival’s baptism of fire in Geneva in 192025. Inspire us with the good news that your reign has come in the Christ child, and by your Holy Spirit it comes anew each day. 2. How can people without discipline and self-control promote peace in the world? Don’t think too highly of yourself, but consider others better than yourself (Phil 2:3). For all other uses, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Yet, to my knowledge, he’s never truly confessed his sin to those he has wronged and asked them to forgive him. Nils Samuel Stadener (1872-1937), bishop of Strängnäs (1928-1932), bishop of Växjö (1932-1937). People with unshakable faith in progress, believing that the world was on the road to Paradise, suddenly found themselves plunged into the darkest hell of hatred and duplicity. Fourth, we bring God’s peace to the world by seeking his righteousness and justice. And he has a plan to reestablish peace throughout his creation. There is one universal tenet: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”19 However, it is not this tenet to which we are here appealing. The third point relates more closely to the present situation. If something about the church begins to get on your nerves – and, believe me, something will! Second, we bring God’s peace to the world by holding up the cross of Christ as an example to emulated. Resuming our survey from East to West, we come now to the British section comprising the ecumenically minded Christianity in Great Britain, Ireland, and the British Commonwealth, and in the Anglican church in all parts of the world, even outside the British Empire. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. The Buddha taught that peaceful minds lead to peaceful speech and peaceful actions. The Ecumenical Council officially or semiofficially represents the larger part of Christendom; that is to say, two of the main divisions of the Holy Catholic (General) and Apostolic Church: the Greek and Russian Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Evangelical Western Church which, even in its creed, confesses to believing in and thus belonging to “The Holy (General) Catholic Church”. I believe it is peace in our time.” Of course we know the rest of the story. He resolutely pursued the all-encompassing peace that comes only when sin is abolished and God’s rule is reestablished on the earth. Hitler did promise, however, to resolve all future differences through consultation rather than military action. So far in this series I’ve shown how God intended his creation to be full of peace. Surely we must be sensitive to the people whom we are seeking to help and to the context of the conversation. Suitably named, the falls cooled us with the mist that showered our trail. As God’s peacemakers, we must take the message and substance of peace into the whole world. and became obedient to the point of death– The president of the American section is Parkes Cadman38, formerly chairman of the North American Church Federation. I can think of several ministries that are wholistic in their exercise of peacemaking. I’ll turn to this in my next post. God’s peace will have won the war. To update the imagery a bit, someday tanks will be turned into tractors and silos for nuclear missiles into grain silos. Our relationship, far from being injured, grew into deeper fellowship. First, theologically conservative American Christians (like me) have tended to think of Christ’s peace mainly if not exclusively in terms of personal peace with God and the inner peace that follows from this divine relationship. My dad lost his job and remained out of work for many months. Redeemer Presbyterian Church: Why Is It Thriving? The Challenge was an Anglican weekly edited by William Temple, then rector of St. James Church, Piccadilly. Every individual experience of peace rests, at its base, upon the peacemaking work of Christ on the cross. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. They won’t serve actively enough. Frankly, I’ve watched too many well-meaning Christians exhaust themselves so much in various worthy causes that they have little time left for their own families. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus (Phil 4:6-7). His death dealt a fatal blow to sin, the root cause of human brokenness and separation from God. “But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. Some Jews believed that, if he were the Messiah, Jesus would usher in a season of painless prosperity. Moreover, when I think of experiencing real peace, that sounds like paradise to me. And, whereas Linda and I left our valley in its pristine state, Adam and Eve ruined everything, not only for themselves, but for the rest of us as well. Decorations are no longer envied as a proof of bravery; they are bonds, connections with a dying generation. In practical terms, how do we seek God’s righteousness and justice? His papers were generally acknowledged as the most distinguished at the Stockholm meeting in 1925, and elsewhere as well. My worries evaporated in the warmth of God’s love for me. So here’s a question that I can imagine being asked by such a person: “Mark, there are so many ways to be involved in God’s peacemaking work that I feel overwhelmed. We participate heart and soul in the holy task, initiated by the Protestant Episcopal church in America, of establishing faith and order, fraternal consultation, concord, and, as far as possible, unity in creed and church statutes. “Peace in our time” was no peace at all because it failed to remedy the root cause of the strife: Hitler’s plan to dominate Europe. Sometimes the path to true peace must pass through strife and division before it arrives at its destination. This call to patience implies that those around you will frustrate you with their slowness. Bernt Støylen (1858-1937), bishop of Kristiansand, Norway. I grew up focusing on Christ’s provision of peace with God, within my own soul, and with my closest companions. Peace doesn’t come along just because baby Jesus was born in a manger. Yesterday, I suggested that we make peace in the world, first of all, by announcing the peacemaking work of Christ on the cross. Peace: Peace With God and the Peace of God. If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. (2) The church must itself realize and impress upon others the sanctity of wise and fixed ordinances and unconditional obligations which extend justice beyond the boundaries of nations, thereby substituting cooperation for previous self-assertion. Our individual experience of God’s peace depends, to a great extent, upon our participation in the community of God’s people. Gaston Doumergue (1863-1937), president of France (1924-1931). Bishop Lönegren from Sweden acted as vice-chairman. 2 Bring about true equality between women and men. Wherever the church has erred in this respect she must humbly confess it and correct the mistakes. Lest you think that only the unique heroes of Christian history have such peace when death approaches, I have sat with many ordinary saints in the hours before their passing. 4:2 when he says: “We, by manifestation of the truth, commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.” The truth has a covert or overt ally in the heart of man and in his deeds. 45. I’ve seen children forgive a father for his years of alcoholic abuse. Sun. As Christians, we live fully in this world, facing its brokenness head on, but not trapped forever within it. Jens Tandberg was the bishop of Oslo; Haakon VII (1872-1957) was king of Norway (1905-1957); Aanon Gunerius Knudsen (1898-1928) was prime minister (1908-1910; 1913-1920). (Matt 5:9). The letter was signed by 12 metropolitans, the ecumenical patriarchate being vacant, but was largely the work of Archbishop Germanos, later metropolitan of Thyateira. Isaiah says to the Lord, “You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, whose thoughts are fixed on you!” (Isa 26:3). Always keep yourselves united in the Holy Spirit, and bind yourselves together with peace. He also drove me crazy at times, and I generously returned the favor. In 1920, Norway and Sweden suggested a move toward conciliation and arbitration. Ash Wednesday: What Is Ash Wednesday? On the first morning of our stay, we packed a lunch and headed off along a trial that ran beside the South Fork of the Kings River. 3. May the Lord of peace himself always give you peace no matter what happens. Finally, the biblical picture of peace yet to come binds us together with other Christians in a fellowship of hope. (a) In the past, unfortunately, the church has often stressed differences rather than unifying factors, but she must now assert the ideals of Christian fraternity, condemn selfishness, and fully participate in efforts to remove the causes of war, whether these are of a social, economic, or political nature. A Life and Work conference held in August, 1920, to prepare for the proposed international Christian conference; Söderblom was the outstanding figure at the session. The doctrine of the sanctity of the judicial system, which was proclaimed in the annals of the Revelation but has since been often obscured or misinterpreted, received an unexpected and, if maintained, effective confirmation in a resolution put forward jointly by an Englishman, a German, and a Frenchman at the Ecumenical Council at Eisenach in 192813, and approved both by the Universal Ecclesiastic World Federation and by the Ecumenical Council itself. I also learned that such peace comes, not by human effort, but by God’s grace as we turn our hearts to him. Sixth, don’t just sit there, do something! Church unity is not something you can take for granted, but it is something to be sought with vigorous effort. Then, turning his eyes to Czechoslovakia, Hitler and his generals drew up a plan to take over that sovereign nation as well. Knut Bernhard Westman (1881-1967), professor of church history, Uppsala University. No, what we are recommending is not a breach of loyalty; on the contrary, it is obedience to a higher obligation. But if we do not first address the fundamental issues, all other actions will come to naught. God of peace, During this season of Advent, we watch for your coming reign of peace. The fourth section, the American, brings to the Ecumenical Council something of the strong active idealism which, in addition to other features, characterizes the New World and which we in Europe often misjudge or fail to understand. He is not a politician. The Vatican Concilium (December, 1869-September, 1870), called by Pope Pius IX, proclaimed the doctrine of papal infallibility. (Photo: Tom Yoder Neufeld’s watershed interpretation of Ephesians can be found in. 1. Their ministry was multi-faceted. There will be a division between father and son, mother and daughter, mother-in-law and daughter-in-law (Luke 12:52-53). It would have been so much easier for Jesus if he had simply joined the Zealots, who fomented violence against Rome, or the Sadducees, who tolerated partnership with the Romans, or the Pharisees, who by the time of Jesus focused on personal piety instead of social reformation. Without knowing what lay ahead for my family, I knew beyond any doubt that God would take care of us. They no longer had peace between each other or even in their own souls (Gen 3:7). Or when a husband and wife finishing fighting, we might say that have worked out peace in their relationship. I shall exclude those in the North, and mention Jonkheer van Karnebeek, Gustave Ador, Chuard, Frank B. Kellogg, Herbert Hoover, Charles Evans Hughes, Lord Robert Cecil (Viscount of Chelwood), Ramsay MacDonald, Lord Parmoor, Hans Luther, Walter Simons, Paul von Hindenburg, Curtius, Thomas Masaryk, Benei, Aristide Briand, Gaston Doumergue, and Albert Thomas. In the silence of armistice they wend their way, thinking of those at home and those left out there. After discussions and correspondence, the organization of the meeting was undertaken by three of us: myself, the Bishop of Oslo, an eminent and scrupulous person of outstanding culture, and the Bishop of Själland3, the indefatigable champion of the unification of churches.